This weeks "Car of the Week": the Lamborghini Miura
The Lamborghini Miura, who doesn't know and likes the shapes of this high performance, two-seater, mid-engined sports car? Produced between 1966 and 1972 by the Italian automaker Lamborghini, it was the fastest production road car, at this time.
During 1965, Lamborghini's three top engineers, Gian Paolo Dallara, Paolo Stanzani, and Bob Wallace put their own time into the development of a prototype car known as the P400. The engineers envisioned a road car with racing pedigree; a car which could win on the track and be driven on the road by enthusiasts. The three men worked on the car's design at night, hoping to sway Lamborghini from the opinion that such a vehicle would be too expensive and would distract from the company's focus. When finally brought aboard, Lamborghini allowed his engineers to go ahead, deciding that the P400 was a potential marketing tool, if nothing more.
As the other Lamborghini names, "Miura" was also the name of a famous fighing bull.
There were a few models built, these are
* the Miura P400 was produced about 474 times between 1966 and 1969. There are rumors, thet the first 125 Miuras were built of 0.9mm steel and are therefore a bit lighter than later cars. They cost about 114,000 in today's terms
* the Miura P400S included newly added power winfows, bright chrome trim around external windows and headlights, different camshaft profiles and so on. Engine changes were also good for an addition of 20 HP. About 140 were produced. The Miura S #4407 was owned by Frank Sinatra.
* the Miura P400SV was the most famous one. 150 models with now 380 HP were produced. In contrast to the former models the SV had not the typical "eyelashes" around the headlamps. (check out my WALLPAPERS, if you want to have an example for this)
* there was only one Miura P400 Jota (the pronunciation of the letter 'J' in Spanish) ever built and crashed in April 1971 on the yet-unopened ring road around the city of Brescia, and burned to the ground. It was a test mule to conform to the FIA's Appendix J racing regulations.
* As people heard about the Jota and wanted to have a car themselves, Lamborghini offered an upgraded P400 SV/J-version. Five were built in total. In 1997 Nicolas Cage bought one of these for US$490,000 - the model's highest ever price sold in an auction. He sold it again in 2002. From 1983 to 1987 there was built a sixth model, for Jean Claude Mimran, the then owner of Lamborghini.
* Built as a show car by Bertone, the Miura Roadster was based on a P400. There was only one existing and was sold to the International Lead Zinc Research Organization (ILZRO).
* the Miura SVJ Spider was displayed at the Geneva Motor Show in 1981 and equipped with wide wheels and a rear wing reflecting the marque's revival, it was considered as a prototype for a possible limited series of Miura Spider.
The Miura gained a worldwide audience of automotive enthusiasts when it was chosen for the opening sequence of The Italian Job (original 1969 version).
In 2006, the 40th anniversary of the introduction of the original Miura in 1966 in Geneva, a retro-styled Miura concept car officially debuted at the Nort American International Auto Show, but Lamborghini president and SEO Stefan Winkelmann said “The Miura was a celebration of our history, but Lamborghini is about the future. Retro design is not what we are here for. So we won’t do the Miura.”